What do you imagine when you think of Cambodia?
Cambodia is a country full of hidden secrets and the most amazing sights awaiting to be explored and indulged upon. A country blessed with plenty of green lush countryside, ancient, vast monuments and hidden beaches stretching along an impressive coastline.
Cambodia is referred to as The Kingdom of Cambodia. In as little as 40 years Cambodia has been renamed (formerly Kampuchea) and rebuilt to become the tourist destination it is today.
Officially named The Kingdom of Cambodia, the country has since seen growth from tourism and investment in infrastructure and technology. It's a country that is still growing, but still has many secrets waiting to be discovered by the next intrepid traveller.
More than 5 million tourists a year visit Cambodia; with the majority heading to its impressive temples and angelic untouched countryside. Cambodia is soon turning into the next ‘must see’ country in Asia and many tourist choose to add it onto their itinerary whilst visiting neighbouring Vietnam and Laos.
Using a local tour operator for your Cambodia tour will make your experience unique and personal. A Indochina tour operator will spend time building your perfect itinerary and ensure you are aware of customs and traditions.
We always recommend booking a tour guide when visiting Cambodia, for no other reason than operators know the BEST places to take you and can organise everything for your trip.
In such a vast country, choosing the top things to see is never easy, but we have selected our favourite things for you to experience in Cambodia.
These are our highlights of Cambodia.
The Capital City – Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is placed perfectly at the junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. It is a city full of hustle, bustle and incredibly impressive architecture.
French colonialists who once lived within the city left behind a plethora of beautiful and ornate buildings, as you will walk around you will feel in awe of the delicate buildings they left behind.
Phnom Penh is home to the Royal Palace. An impressive building full of wonderment and intrigue. Walk around the array of complex buildings and breathe in the history hidden within its stone walls.
The Royal Palace is home to the Silver Pagoda; a pretty white pagoda topped with an intricate orange and ornate roof. Perfectly cared for and a building which highlights the importance of religion within Cambodia.
Phnom Penh is home to impressive museums on the history of Cambodia and can be a welcome break from the heat of the day. The museums are hidden within beautiful buildings and are educate you on the varied and troubled history of such a wonderful country.
Phnom Penh plays home to many vast and colourful night markets. Vibrant stalls offering exotic spices, colourful clothing, fresh colourful vegetables and an incredible choice of street food gives you a real taste of local cuisine. An experience not to be missed.
The Magical City - Siem Reap
Located in along the coastline of Cambodia, Siem Reap is the second largest city in Cambodia and is home to 250,000 people.
Dating back to the 9th century, Siem Reap offers a mix of traditional buildings with pretty coral roofs and shops with awnings selling everything from crafts to food. It is a city of growth where infrastructure is improving and tourists are starting to realise its hidden appeal.
Walk through the cobbled streets and be greeted by hundreds of scooters and locals going about their daily business. At night the streets come alive with bright lights, night markets and socialising. It is a great city to people watch.
It’s pretty coastline offers a break away from the bustling streets and you can sit and watch fisherman catching their food to sell at the many night markets.
As well as home to temples and pagoda's, Siem Reap will give you the chance to visit various museums and is home to some impressive beachside resort hotels too. Your tour operator will be able to advise the best place to stay on your visit.
Siem Reap is an electric mix of modern, tradition and friendly people. Read on as the best of Siem Reap is to come.
By elephant or bicycle - Time to rest your feet
Elephant rides around Siem Reap are very common and can be a fantastic way to see the surrounding countryside. Jump onboard the perfectly constructed seat and see the world from an elephants point of view.
Cycling is also a fantastic way to see the city, you will soon find yourself cycling alongside ancient temples, stunning tree flecked streets and maybe the odd scooter or two.
Both offer you the chance to see the city from a different point of view, as well as the experience imagine the memories you will be able to take home from your Cambodia tour.
Diverse Food - Time to eat
You will find such a vast mix of cuisines inSiem Reap. Walk the area known as ‘pub street’ and be greeted with bright lights and a plethora of restaurants all vying for the attention of your tastebuds.In the evening and you will find the streets teaming with food selling every kind of traditional food imaginable.
French food dominates this area, so if you want to try a heady mix of french and traditional food, this is the place for you.
The area is a place where locals and tourists come to relax, eat, drink and watch the world go by. A great atmosphere and amazing food await.
The Ruins of Angkor Wat - The best until last
The Temples of Angkor Wat are a true sight to behold for any visitor to Cambodia.
Over 2000 ornate buddhist monuments are dotted throughout a vibrant and far reaching range of green plains. The flat lush land offers any tourist amazing sunsets and a time for peace and quiet.
The temples of Angkor include ancient temples, monasteries and pagoda's dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. See if you can walk around and find the large, mysterious faces carved into the stone of the Bayon temple.
The entire complex is open to be explored; take time to walk amongst time and history and imagine the emperors and monks who have walked the land for thousands of years.
The flag of Cambodia actually details the perfectly preserved Angkor Wat temple.
Why choose a tour operator?
A local tour operator like Indochinavalue can help with your journey around their spectacular country, they are used to working with budgets on all levels and have your best interests at heart.
Read more: Things to do in Cambodia